Letters to the editor (8/27/12)

Davis family greatly appreciated

Thank you, Julia O'Malley, for the compassionate and candid information about the Davis farm family in Sunday's paper. I and others have patronized them for years and greatly appreciate the service that they and all our local farmers provide to us in Alaska.

Further, I would like to add that Alex has given even more to our community. Last fall he provided Anchorage Waterways Council with a generous food donation for our fundraiser titled "Local Foods for Local Creeks."

Many of us have followed the ups and downs of this great family and we share their grief. May they continue to be the great food source that they have been for almost a decade and may their pain and sorrow ease with each day. Thank you, Davis family, and to his partner, Duane Clark.

-- Cherie Northon

executive director, Anchorage Waterways Council and patron of the Davis and Duane Clark farms


What's with mis-timed red lights?

One morning last week on my commute from the Glenn to South Anchorage at about 5:50 a.m., I hit red lights on Gambell at Sixth Avenue, Ninth Avenue (even though that intersection is closed to east/west traffic), 13th Avenue and Fireweed. Somehow I got a green light at Northern Lights but got a red light at Benson and then 36th.

I drive the speed limit. What gives? I'm not the only one sitting at these lights, idling and wasting fuel and adding emissions to our air. In most cases there was no traffic coming from the cross streets. There should be a way to better time these lights.

-- Charles Bale

Eagle River

This opposite definitely attracts

Thank you, Gov. Murkowski, for your astute and continued leadership. I was wondering about Measure 2 but now that I know you are opposed to it, I will be sure to cast my ballot for the measure. Keep up the great work.

-- Clark James Mishler


Election laws can't extinguish right to vote, have vote counted

Charles Bale ("Take responsibility for error," Aug. 18) misses the point of my letter ("Is GOP stifling voter turnout?" Aug. 15). Voting is a right and having your vote be counted is a right. It is articulated in the First Amendment. Originally intended only for white men, it now encompasses women and people of color. Congress, the state of Alaska or even the mighty Anchorage Assembly cannot abridge that right.

Unfortunately, one reason America has troubles is because Republicans and Democrats write election law for their own benefit. For example, the legal definition of political parties, which in turn limits your choices on the ballot. Thus there is no Green Party in Alaska. For another, the primary election, which is paid for and run by the state of Alaska but only benefits the Democratic and Republican parties. However discriminatory these election laws may be, they cannot extinguish the right to vote or the right to have your vote be counted.

When our elected officials and civil servants do not defend our rights, we all lose. I am sure Charles Bale would agree.

-- Jed Whittaker


Measure won't bring gloom, doom

Somewhere, P.T. Barnum must be chuckling at the baseless claims by the No on 2 crowd now saturating the airwaves. They warn of doom to our economy, loss of jobs and all manner of harm that will befall every mom and pop business if Alaskans vote to bring coastal management back to the largest coast in the nation. Big-moneyed Outside interests, fronted by a few say-anything locals, telling us that giving our coastal communities some influence over how best to design and operate projects in their own backyards would halt or delay all development here? They must think we're all suckers. Listen to who pays for those ads, consider who stands to gain if the proposition fails, don't be fooled, support your fellow Alaskans and vote yes on 2!

-- Tom Lohman


Looking for contradiction

Our new license plates are out. I can't wait to see a vehicle with "Choose Life" on the front and a "Support Our Troops" on the rear of the vehicle.

-- Mary Stein


Something's wrong here ...

Taking advantage of U.S. patent protection and the U.S. judicial system, Apple just won a $1 billion award from Samsung, courtesy the U.S. taxpayer, while shifting jobs to sweatshops in China.

What's wrong with this picture?

-- Mary Turner


Birthplace myth still persists

Mitt Romney apparently thinks it's funny (in a prep school sort of way) to insult President Obama by reinforcing malicious assertions about his birthplace -- revealing that Romney is not only stupid but ignorant. Because -- although it can be -- birthplace is not necessarily the deciding criterion for citizenship.

Birth in the United States is generally sufficient, but not necessary, for U.S. citizenship. Natural citizenship -- that is, not "naturalized" (as with immigrants) -- is also passed from parent to child regardless of where in the world the child is born.

Thus children born to American citizens anywhere in the world are themselves "natural born citizens" and eligible to run for president (if they meet the other criteria).

That birth on U.S. territory is a requirement is a common myth but is just that, a myth. Let it rest in peace (along with the ignorant assumption that President Obama's birthplace matters).

-- Rick Wicks


What's on your mind -- really?

Seriously, what are you thinking, if you are thinking at all?

Do you really believe that moving forward within inches of the vehicle in front of you behind 30 other vehicles at a red light will get you to your destination any faster?

Do you really believe that riding the bumper of the vehicle in front of you during rush hour traffic will get you to your destination any faster?

Do you really believe that the cellphone call you are engaged in is more important than actually stopping at that stop sign or red light?

Do you really believe that because the unattentive driver in front of you runs a red light, said action gives you the same permission?

Do you really believe that the neighborhood speed limit does not apply to you?

Do you understand what the turn signal is meant for?

Do you understand what a safe distance between vehicles at a given rate of speed is?

Do you understand why I am asking these questions?

If not, please park your vehicle and purchase a bus pass.

-- Randy Lee Harkins


Multiple people responsible for Rawhide theme in Honeman ad

I enjoyed Julia O'Malley's article in Thursday's paper, "Get your tambourine. It's a jingle-plosion," but wanted to correct the record on an important point.

Julia's article states that I "came up with the Rawhide number," which is not strictly true. As with any successful endeavor, multiple people deserve credit and I wanted to make sure that credit is accorded where it's due.

It was former Assemblywoman Melinda Taylor who initially came up with the idea of doing a Rawhide theme for Honeman's ad. The words were written by Kay Brown, who was managing Honeman's campaign. The two of them then called me and asked me to produce the spot. I, in turn, brought in Kurt Riemann at Surreal Studios and our voice talent and singer extraordinaire, Paul Schweigert.

Everything in that 30 seconds was created from scratch: the music, the singing and many of the sound effects. It took many hours and the talents of a lot of people to pull it off. To be brutally honest, when the idea was suggested to me by Melinda and Kay, I was initially skeptical and tried to talk them out of doing it, knowing that there was such a short distance between the thing turning out brilliant and being just awful. I'm glad I relented. I'd never before had such fun in a studio.

-- Ivan Moore


Voting Rights Act issues in Alaska: a few things to consider

The 1965 Federal Voting Rights Act will be judged by history as a great achievement by President Lyndon Johnson that finally overcame (by and large) the resistance of former Confederate states to voting registration for all races.

Now, the "devil is in the details" for Alaska. The Redistricting Board director is quoted in the ADN article: "The Board has made protecting the Alaska Native Community a top priority." I wonder who the Native community is being protected from -- the voting majority? This sounds suspiciously more like a Murkowski reelection tagline than a redistricting goal.

I suspect language will be the next voting rights issue (enter ACLU) to surface. Alaska has some 20 Native languages; over 90 languages are spoken by students in the Anchorage School District. Imagine translating "Prop 2" into about 100 languages. Voters don't understand it in English!

-- Thomas Petersen


Thief should return bike or face either law enforcement or karma

To the Bear Tooth bike thief: I took my bike to the BT Grill Friday night, Aug. 17, so I could buy my staff a few beers for our party and bike, not drive, home.

When I came out to get my bike, you had stolen my bike. And my bike bag with my new orange mammoth jacket that I bought in Switzerland and my white helmet. There's a camera at the BT bike racks and when I get a picture of you I will bring it to the police. How could you be such a jerk and steal my bike, helmet and jacket?

You can put it back at the BT rack and I will forgive you or you can let the police or your karma get you. Your choice.

-- Osa Detrick


Dinosaurs could draw tourists

So dinosaurs once lived at Denali Park. Must have been much, much hotter back then.

We need to encourage global warming. Perhaps then the dinosaurs will come back. Now there's an Alaska-size tourist attraction!

-- Tom Carberry


Rules unfriendly to foot travel

In her Compass on land-use rules (Aug. 18), Ms. Connie Yoshimura glosses over some important issues with her own spin on them. Other huge changes are ignored.

If you think you should be able to walk, better buy a car. Sidewalks are only required on one side of the street, even for main streets like Northern Lights, Benson and all other "arterials."

Walkways between neighborhoods and to parks are optional. Those walkways will be at most 10 feet wide. Seems wide? Imagine a few hundred feet of walkway with 8-foot fences on either side. The hope of bringing businesses closer to roads for better walking access is gone. Now only the "big box store" standard remains.

Even simple requirements for bike racks are gone. This commission is clearly antagonistic to those of us who prefer to travel by foot or bicycle.

-- Robyn Lauster

member of Anchorage Cohousing and Transition Town Spenard


Political signs invade our trail

Here's a new low, political yard signs popping up on the Coastal Trail just west of the Marston Drive entrance.

Here's my message to the owners of those million-dollar behemoth homes who have sullied my outdoor enjoyment: I'll be sure to vote for the other guys and YES ON PROP 2. I respect your right to an opinion but I'll be recreating elsewhere until Aug. 29.

-- Diane Sheridan


Thanks to a good Samaritan

I moved to Alaska in 1983. In those years, there was an unwritten code of helping people who have car trouble on the roadways. Over time, the risks of stopping along the roadways have increased, so there is less expectation of "good Samaritan" help.

Earlier this month, we had a bad tire blowout just east of the Knik River bridges. I have never changed a tire in the 50 years I have been driving. Within 15 minutes, Todd Short pulled up behind us and offered help. With heavy traffic roaring by, Todd found the jack, removed the spare, put it on and had us on our way.

Todd was en route home when he stopped. He would not accept money for the wonderful gift he gave us. Thank you, Todd Short.

-- Dee Gould and Jeanmarie Crumb